The pesky specter of Aaron Greenspan that has been plaguing Facebook for a long time has finally been put to rest. The dispute, which has finally reach a settlement was about the very existence of Facebook. The story is rather long and messy, but in a nutshell it goes something like this — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Aaron Greenspan studied together at Harvard. While perusing his academics, Greenspan founded a company called Think, which released HouseSystem, a web-based student portal that included a section called “The Universal Face Book” or “The Face Book.” Zuckerberg then went on to form Facebook which is alleged to have been based on this concept. Besides, Greenspan also wrote a book called “Authoritas: One Student’s Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era” which he was not able to market properly on Google because of trademark issues caused by the word Facebook being present in the title. So he went about trying to get the words un-trademarked so that he could use them. His argument was that he used the words first and in a similar concept at that.
That was until a settlement was reached. Now both parties have exchanged courtesies and Greenspan is sure to have got a hefty sum too. Exact figure that has changed hands is not known, but going by what the last guy who pointed a finger at Facebook got, the figure could well be close to $65 million. This was apparently the settlement that ConnectU got when it said that Zuckerberg stole ConnectU’s code and business plans for a social network. As per the terms of the settlement, Greenspan (Think) has agreed to abandon his efforts to get the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the trademark issued to Facebook in 2006.
Well, let’s hope with this announcement peace is maintained in the social sphere for at least some time. It seems Zuckerberg had some legal spat with co-founder and fellow Harvard batchmate Eduardo Saverin too. If the story interests you perhaps you’d like to pick up a copy of “The Accidental Billionaires” due for release in July. The books title slug goes something like this — “The founding of Facebook — A tale of sex, money, genius and betrayal.”